Despite COVID-19 pandemic, owners of new Filipino Hawaiian restaurant hopeful

Community Reports

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Basil’s Home Cooking, better known as Filipino Hawaiian Food, opened up their doors last Sunday and have already seen a massive amount of support from the community. Their opening comes at a time when many small businesses throughout New Mexico are struggling due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The fusion restaurant is the only one of its kind in Albuquerque, which is why owners Basil and Elaine Welch are optimistic their restaurant will be successful.

Basil and Elain have been in the food industry since 1998 when they moved from Los Angeles to Albuquerque to open what would be the first incarnation of Basil’s Home Cooking. “I did research and found that there weren’t any Filipino restaurants in the whole state of New Mexico,” Elaine said. “That motivated me to quit my job and pursue my love of cooking.”

They operated that restaurant for about five years before turning their attention to mobile vending. They sold their food at the New Mexico State Fair, Balloon Fiesta, wine festivals, and other big summer events.

During the initial COVID-19 shutdown, the Welch couple decided to sell their food truck and open a small restaurant, which operates similarly to a food truck in that people call in their orders and pick up the food, Elaine said.

The couple prides themselves on providing authentic Filipino food. Elaine cooks all of the food, Basil makes the preparations. Elaine has been cooking for over 60 years and says that it’s the thing she is passionate about. When they visited Hawaii many years back, Elaine studied the food there and realized she could combine the two styles of cuisine fairly easily, so she did. The result is a modest menu with fusion dishes, Hawaiian deserts and shaved ice.

“All of my cooking, I learned from my mom–this is authentic Filipino food. I’m glad to share it with the community,” Elaine said.

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